Sometimes I just start wondering. And once that starts, you never quite know where the path will take you. Consider yourself forewarned.
You know those Spanish restaurants where they serve delicious tapas? I was wondering about that this morning. I thought I had read that tapas originated in cafes many years ago, driven by the need to keep pesky insects out of the patrons’ beverages. So they served beverages with a little saucer to place on top of the glass in between sips.
Is this real or an urban legend? I have no precise memory of where I heard or read this story about the origin of the term.
Anyway, as my recollection tells me, over time, cafés naturally began to serve little bites of food on these handy saucers. Bringing us to the current day where small portions of food are served on little plates in cute Spanish cafes. But no one uses the plates as a cover for their beverage anymore.
Which brings me back to my internal question. If pest control (namely flies) was a problem with drinks served in an open glass, wouldn’t the flies get all in the food too? Why was it considered OK to serve food on these saucers when the saucers were needed to keep flies out of the beer?
Maybe I don’t have the full story. Maybe exterminators arrived on the scene and took care of the problem with flies. Or maybe every table came equipped with a fly swatter.
But flies are just G-R-O-S-S. They are filthy. I do not like them one bit.
I was at a picnic about a year ago at a public park, and the hostess began putting an assortment of snacks, salads, dips and sweets out on the table. I was appalled to observe flies digging in to the feast before any of the humans. We were outdoors and we were unable to keep them away. I couldn’t bear to watch anyone eating after the flies; it just completely unsettled my stomach.
I am not a queasy girl. I can pick up spiders, lizards, frogs or beetles if they get indoors and gently escort them outdoors where they belong. But oh my. Just the thought of someone eating potato salad after a couple of flies have visited makes me very uncomfortable. I need to avert my glance.
Let’s rest for a minute or two on the bench alongside this path and recover, shall we? And then we can resume normal Friday morning activities.